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ShotSpotter Allows Cops To Make An Arrest For Firing A Gun Recklessly In Sion Farm

ShotSpotter Allows Cops To Make An Arrest For Firing A Gun Recklessly In Sion Farm

CHRISTIANSTED — Using technology to pinpoint where gunshots were discharged from, police were able to arrest a St. Croix man on an illegal gun charge this week.

John Carlos Ventura, 27, of Sion Farm, was arrested Wednesday and charged with carrying of a firearm, openly or concealed and first-degree reckless endangerment, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

VIPD mugshot of John Carlos Ventura, 27, of Sion Farm on St. Croix.

The Special Operations Bureau (SOB) responded to a 911 transmission of gunshots discharged in the Sion Farm area at 7:01 p.m. Wednesday, according to the VIPD.

While traveling to Estate Sion Farm, the responding officers used the ShotSpotter application
system to pinpoint the exact location of the reported gunshots that were fired and conducted a
physical inspection in the area, police said.

Officers made contact with several residents who stated that they heard two gunshots fired and indicated the location on the property, according to police. As officers continued their search of the southern side of the house, they recovered two spent bullet casings.

“Announcing their presence to any occupants of the house, the officers got no response, however, using their flashlights to look through the clear glass window of a bedroom, the officers observed what appeared to be the black handle of a firearm on a shelf in the closet in plain view,” VIPD spokesman Glen Dratte said.

Police met with the landlord and tenant of the apartment and the tenant was advised of the officers observation and gave written consent to search the apartment, according to Dratte.

The suspect Ventura, was present at the Wilbur Francis Command to make a report of an incident that took place at his residence in Sion Farm in which he stated that he discharged to shots at two male individuals that was inside his yard, the VIPD communications director said. At that point, the Sion Farm man was arrested and taken into official custody.

Bail for Ventura was set at $50,000.00. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections at the John A. Bell Adult Correctional Facility pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

This is the second arrest for Ventura in the last five months. He was also charged with carrying a firearm openly or concealed on June 21 for an incident that took place on King Street in Christiansted.

St. Croix Police Chief Sean Santos said that “this is just the beginning of the VIPD utilizing technology to aid in law enforcement.”

“Those who are caught conducting these acts will be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” Chief Santos said. “The VIPD condones anyone taking part in celebratory gunfire (discharging
of shots) in the territory.”

If you know of anyone discharging shots in your area please call 911, the VIPD Tip Line at (340) 778-4950 or the Chief’s office at (340) 778-2211.

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